Who Should Buy Blackberry? Amazon

Raymond A. Guzman

It was surprising news for everyone to find out that Amazon had bought The Washington Post. I was thrown off a little at first, but I have to admit that if there is a single company out there that has the ability to reinvent print media, it’s Amazon. Jeff Bezos has proven that he has a knack for making media consumption innovative. In writing up my post-mortem on Blackberry, I began thinking about who should buy the company and it came to me that Amazon might be the best buyer. This might be Amazon’s opportunity to take a valued brand, operating system, and technologies, and mesh it in with the Kindle ecosystem to make the Kindle Phone. Imagine if Amazon were to enter its hat into the smartphone market. While it is a competitive market, Amazon might be in a great position to corner a segment of the market whose…

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Human Resources, The Hiring Process, and Bold Ideas

The State of the Job Market

Having been in the job market one and off, formally and informally, I’ve come to realize that the prospects are still very bleak, even despite quoted improvements. The recession really did a lot to damage the job market and to make it difficult for highly qualified candidates to obtain employment in a reasonable amount of time. There are several other observations I can make. One of the major ones is that it’s really become a recruiter’s market. Recruiters have the benefit of a larger applicant pool whereas applicants themselves find themselves in a larger pool with fewer opportunities. It’s really kind of mind-blowing to really think about how anyone actually gets hired because what it comes down to is company culture and compatibility. This is something that is really difficult to ascertain and I don’t see how most company’s application processes manage to discern this important, but overlooked characteristic of any potential employee. I look at most company’s application processes and note that there are many traditional, yet seemingly outdated tools that are prevalent throughout most every process. To name of a few there is, of course, the resume, a behavioral interview, and typically elongated follow up. I feel like most human resources departments are hesitant to be open to new and bold ideas regarding how to bring in candidates and eventually hire someone or a group of people. This is a space that chopping at the bit for new innovative and bold ideas to breathe life into human resources and the hiring process.

The Google Example

Google is one of those company’s that tends to be on the cutting edge and their hiring process is no different. Google in large part does away with traditional resumes, formal interviews, and exams, all of those traditional elements. Their focus is on corporate culture, conversation, and compatibility. There is no dress code. There aren’t those typical behavioral questions and personality is encouraged. Imagine it. It’s an interview in which you’re not getting 20 applicants who are dressed alike, giving similar answers to questions, and have excellent resumes that they’ve all spent hours working on. You’re getting 20 different identities and the kind of conversation that brings character. We have to learn from companies like Google and to be open to bold ideas. 

One Bold Idea: Actual Employment “Tests”

This is just one idea I’ve been throwing around, but what if companies starting implementing hiring processes that actually allowed actual employees to work with prospective candidates and make a decision based on actual work. The idea is to bring in candidates, provide them with training materials, and bring them in for a one to multiple day trial as a prospective employee. Further, why not compensate the candidates you choose for the days they’re under “test.” With all of the money that goes into human resources departments, why not add an incentive to candidates to really be open enough in order for you to make a decision whether or not they are compatible with your particular company culture. It’s one of those things where I ask if it really isn’t just best to try out prospective candidates rather than jumping through a series of hoops that might give you inconclusive information to make a decision on. The bottom line is that I see a great dearth of innovative ideas in regards to company hiring process and this is a space that I hope receives new life in the coming years. 

The Myth of Multitasking, the Internet, Media, Focus and Productivity

Another great post from my blog, Raymond Guzman. All links to the right.

Raymond A. Guzman

The Myth

Multitasking is one of those terms that gets pushed around a lot. We tend to put a lot of value into the ability to be able to work on more than one task at the same time. It’s a skill that gets listed on resumes. It’s a skill that employers are after and it’s an ability to that we expect people to have in general. For me, I’ve always been forced to ask myself the question whether or not multitasking is a real thing. This is one of those skills that’s taken at face value and rarely ever thought about. If you think about it though, you realize that multitasking is really more of a myth than an attainable skill. I won’t deny that maybe there’s a handful of people in the world with the attention, focus, and brain power to actually think about and work on two…

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The Willingness to Create Your Own Opportunity

This is a post from my primary blog, which has implications for Financial Intersections as well. I hope you enjoy this read.

Raymond A. Guzman

Hidden Opportunities

Back to Work is one of my favorite podcasts at the moment. It’s a talk show hosted by Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin that focuses on productivity, communication, work and life in a way. It’s a great show. It’s very funny and I highly recommend that everyone check it out. In the latest episode, episode 124, Merlin talk’s about his latest trials and tribulations with his jury duty. For the sake of brevity, he talks about how important it can be to set your mindset up in such a way as to prepare yourself for the low points that everyone invariably find themselves at throughout life. The point he makes is that there’s essentially a difference between getting punched off guard and knowing your going to get punched. On some level, his point boils down to the value of maintain an optimistic outlook on life, but it’s really…

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The Line Between Imitation and Inspiration

Raymond A. Guzman

One of the ideas that I’ve been thinking about over the last couple of weeks is the internet and how that relates to the proliferation of ideas in relation to the pure creation of ideas. I think that one of the characteristics of the modern, digital age is that it is much more difficult to create in a vacuum. It’s difficult to achieve what I call “pure” creation. In general, ideas all of origins and those with a digital trail are very easy to follow. In thinking about myself and my daily process, I’ve realized that often times I forget where an idea originated from simply because I read through a lot of content. On daily basis, I skim through about 50-100 titles of articles, blog posts, and news headlines. I skim through about 20-30 of those pieces. I read through about 5-10 of those particular pieces. It’s easy to…

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Your Work, It’s Value and Self-Appreciation

Raymond A. Guzman

Over the last couple of months, I’ve come to realize a couple of things about what it means to be your most productive and how that relates to the value you put into what you do. As always, this particular idea was motivated by the many ideas of Merlin Mann. On a base level, one of his primary focuses is how important it is to value your time and attention. The concept of the tragedy of the commons transcends into many different facets of your life. For Merlin, a modern day problem has arisen from the Internet and our ability to be available around the clock. There is no sort of inherent limit to how much people can occupy your attention. If you’ve been watching some of the talks I’ve posted here, you know that Merlin’s put a lot of thought into this. For me, the takeaway is that…

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Top 5 Qualities of Successful Individuals

Raymond A. Guzman

Role Models

I myself have a series of role models that span the spectrum from doctors to entrepreneurs and I’ve often thought about what makes these individuals both influential and successful. In my view, there are a certain qualities that across the board are indicative of someone who has the ability to be highly successful. I’m going to provide my top five qualities that I believe makes someone successful.

1. Arrogance

At the number one spot, I put arrogance and I know that that must seem rather odd. Arrogance is often thought of as being something negative to be looked down upon, but I think that this is nothing more than an overly associated negative connotation. Arrogance can and is often a positive quality. You have to realize that if someone doesn’t care or belief enough in what they are doing then there would be no reason for anyone else…

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